Preparing Literature Reviews

Preparing Literature Reviews-64
Do this for each article and book that you have in your stack of literature. Step Four: Code the literature: Get out a pair of scissors and cut each excerpt out. Print this out, and cut the titles into individual slips of paper.Take the slips of paper to a table or large workspace and figure out the best way to organize them.

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That balance will depend on how much you already know.

For people writing literature reviews for articles or books, this system also could work, especially when you are writing in a field with which you are already familiar.

Find the envelope with the excerpts in them and lay them on the table in front of you.

Figure out a mini-conceptual schema based on that theme by grouping together those excerpts that say the same thing.

Step One: Decide on your areas of research: Before you begin to search for articles or books, decide beforehand what areas you are going to research.

Make sure that you only get articles and books in those areas, even if you come across fascinating books in other areas.The literature review provides a description, summary and evaluation of each source.It is usually presented as a distinct section of a graduate thesis or dissertation.The great thing about this process is that it breaks down into manageable steps something that seems enormous: writing a literature review. students, unless you are already familiar with the literature.I think that Foss and Walter’s system for writing the literature review is ideal for a dissertation, because a Ph. candidate has already read widely in his or her field through graduate seminars and comprehensive exams. It is always hard to figure out how much you need to read for deep meaning, and how much you just need to know what others have said.Don’t summarize, as summarizing takes longer than simply typing the excerpt. When you finish, place each stack of notes into an envelope labeled with the name of the theme.Make sure to note the name of the author and the page number following each excerpt. Step Five: Create Your Conceptual Schema: Type, in large font, the name of each of your coded themes.The literature review is a written overview of major writings and other sources on a selected topic.Sources covered in the review may include scholarly journal articles, books, government reports, Web sites, etc.Are there ideas that go together or that are in dialogue with each other? Move around the slips of paper until you come up with a way of organizing the codes that makes sense.Write the conceptual schema down before you forget or someone cleans up your slips of paper.

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